UK to force Nexperia to sell Newport wafer fab stake says report

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The UK government is planning to tell Nexperia to substantially reduce its ownership of the former Newport Wafer Fab (NWF), according to a Financial Times report referencing unnamed sources.

Earlier this year the government opened an investigation into the purchase of the UK’s largest and most advanced chip manufacturer under the National Security and Investment act, which came into force at the beginning of 2022. A decision has been promised by October 5.

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The investigation only started after Nexperia, which is owned by Chinese chip company Wingtech, acquired Newport Wafer Fab in a controversial move and despite calls to block the move.

Drew Nelson, a former CEO of wafer supplier IQE plc, was a significant owner of the Newport Wafer Fab before it was sold to power semiconductor company Nexperia in 2021. Nelson has the right of first refusal to buy the company back, according to the FT report quoting the same sources.

The account says Nelson has teamed up with Palladian Investment Partners LLC to mount a bid for the company. Other private equity companies are also reportedly interested in taking a stake in the company.

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